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The Furnish Line
Diana Bitting | Photo: Neil Burger | January 21, 2013
Furnishly (furnishly.com), the online interiors marketplace making a name for itself by selling upscale local furnishings, makes decking out your new digs as easy as as one, two, three. First, search for specific items in your city. Second, pay for your selected items via a secure payment system. Third, swing by the seller location to pick up your find or arrange delivery through the site for a fee. Done.
That said, this isn’t your average secondhand e-shop. Furnishly makes its mark with a secret scouting system that sorts through all the “junk” on classified-ad type sites like Craigslist, Oodle and Zaarly to find quality crafted, one-of-a-kind vintage and unique high-end consignment pieces in your hood. “Ninety-nine percent of things on our site have an inventory of one,” explains founder Bryon Finke. So Furnishly is for people who want quality originals instead of mass-produced space-fillers with no story. “That’s what furniture should be—a quality investment that sticks around,” adds Finke.
The Elk Grove, Ill., native quit his corporate gig last year to concentrate on building up his biz, and is nearing critical mass as we speak (hubs are in more than 40 cities nationwide and counting). He’s also joined forces with area consignment shops, furniture and accessory dealers and people who refurbish antiques—helping them “go digital” with their inventory and establishing an online presence through the Furnishly platform. One example is Lincoln Park’s Stuff store, which signed on early due to a willing owner and has since witnessed the advantages of online exposure. “It’s a vibrant, local sales channel,” the 27-year-old Finke explains. “We provide the same service as a brick and mortar store, without the rent.” Less money and more exposure? Sounds like Finke will definitely finish—and furnish—what he started.